How Many Times

How many times Lord?
How often?
How long for?

Do I have to forgive?

But they’ve done me wrong,
cheated me,
hurt me.

Surely they have to pay?

But then the penny drops.
How much have you forgiven me?
How often?
How many times?

You forgive me,
lift my burden from me,
allow me to walk away,
with the weight lifted,
the blame gone.

Surely that
is how I should treat others.

To pay back what I owe you,
in freeing others,
lifting their weight,
setting them free.

Not once,
twice,
seven
or even seventy
times.

But forever
and always.
Without counting the cost
or the number of times.

And as I forgive,
I find myself freed anew,
freed from the burden of
holding tight
and counting

Forgive me Lord,
when I have clung to grudges,
or felt I have been over-generous.
Yours is the generosity Lord,
I long to live in it
and share it.

Forgiving By scem.info CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Matthew 18:21-35 (CEV)

An Official Who Refused To Forgive

21 Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone[a] who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?”

22 Jesus answered:

Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! 23 This story will show you what the kingdom of heaven is like:

One day a king decided to call in his officials and ask them to give an account of what they owed him. 24 As he was doing this, one official was brought in who owed him fifty million silver coins. 25 But he didn’t have any money to pay what he owed. The king ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all he owned, in order to pay the debt.

26 The official got down on his knees and began begging, “Have pity on me, and I will pay you every cent I owe!”27 The king felt sorry for him and let him go free. He even told the official that he did not have to pay back the money.

28 As the official was leaving, he happened to meet another official, who owed him a hundred silver coins. So he grabbed the man by the throat. He started choking him and said, “Pay me what you owe!”

29 The man got down on his knees and began begging, “Have pity on me, and I will pay you back.” 30 But the first official refused to have pity. Instead, he went and had the other official put in jail until he could pay what he owed.

31 When some other officials found out what had happened, they felt sorry for the man who had been put in jail. Then they told the king what had happened. 32 The king called the first official back in and said, “You’re an evil man! When you begged for mercy, I said you did not have to pay back a cent. 33 Don’t you think you should show pity to someone else, as I did to you?” 34 The king was so angry that he ordered the official to be tortured until he could pay back everything he owed. 35 That is how my Father in heaven will treat you, if you don’t forgive each of my followers with all your heart.

Take Up The Cross – Who Me?

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Israel Batch 1 (888)” by User:MattesOwn work.

You want me
to carry that?
To take it,
who knows where
or when?

It looks really rather uncomfortable.
I will look a fool.
It’s not my style.
What about splinters?
It will make me so tired.
It’s cumbersome.
It will slow me down.
Everyone will see
and know.

Are you sure
I need to pick it up and carry it?

Isn’t there an easier way?
Somehow more comfortable?
Less visible?

Mikhail Nesterov 003.jpg

Matthew 16:24-28

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples:

If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. 25 If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it.26 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?

27 The Son of Man will soon come in the glory of his Father and with his angels to reward all people for what they have done. 28 I promise you that some of those standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.

Forgive me Lord,
the times I want the easy way,
the less embarrassing way,
the way with less pain
or inconvenience.

For I want to follow you,
the way you call me to,
and lead me through.

Help me Lord
to forget myself
and follow you

#adventbookclub 2014

Yes, I know it’s only August and anyone who mentions the C word should be severely dealt with!  But, in an attempt to get organised, and because I saw this book and liked the look of it, I have chosen what my Advent book will be.  As usual I will be blogging my reflections here and you are very welcome to join in, in whichever way suits you best.

I have chosen Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK (and thanks to Claire for her help)

partly because I have enjoyed other books written by Stephen Cottrell, and I loved the strapline,

For those who thought they knew the story well

This book takes a slightly different approach.  It is not a reading for every day, but eleven chapters, which may suit some people better.  By my reckoning that is three a week, but anyone can share their thoughts as they read at their own pace.

I intend to continue the Adventbookclub Facebook page and #adventbookclub on Twitter for conversation and shared reflection.

I would love anyone to join me.  Last year it worked really well as a shared journey through Advent together.

Once you’ve bought the book, I promise I won’t mention Christm*s or Advent again :)